PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said the two policemen linked to the killing of a student who, they claimed, was a robber in Caloocan City has been relieved pending results of an ongoing investigation.
“The investigation has started. Yesterday (Sunday), General Albayalde relieved the cops involved.” De la Rosa said in a press conference on Monday.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has ordered the relief of two policemen linked to the killing of a student who, they claimed, was a robber.
Carl Arnaiz, a student from the University of the Philippines, was shot dead on Aug. 18 in an alleged exchange of gunfire with Caloocan Police Officer 1 Jeffrey Perez and Police Officer 1 Ricky Arquilita. The two have since been transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa.
Perez and Arquilita were responding to calls that a taxi driver was being held up.
“The cops responded together with the taxi driver. They roamed around the area where he was held-up. And the hold-upper was still there. The taxi driver pointed at him,” de la Rosa said, referring to Arnaiz..
“So I told the policemen, find the taxi driver so you have proof,” de la Rosa added.
De la Rosa said Arnaiz died in the shootout and “no one” was able to identify his body until his parents came to the morgue. Police claimed that marijuana and shabu were recovered from the alleged suspect.
“The parents visited the morgue and they were able to identify that it was indeed their son,” de la Rosa said.
“The police report was clear that the police responded because someone was being held-up,” de la Rosa stressed.
Arnaiz was a student of the University of the Philippines who was taking up interior design. He was a graduate of the Makati Science High School and was valedictorian in elementary.
According to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), autopsy showed that Arnaiz was heavily tortured, dragged away, handcuffed, and was kneeling when he was shot dead.
Dela Rosa said he had no problem with the PAO’s report that Arnaiz was “tortured” before being killed.
De la Rosa called on the public not to be “too quick in condemning our policemen”. He reiterated that the case was “very different” from that of slain senior high student Kian de los Santos who was also killed in Caloocan City on Aug. 16.
De los Santos was killed in a drug raid and the manner by which he died in the hands of police stirred controversy because CCTV footage showed that the 17-year-old was unarmed and pleading for his life contrary to claims by arresting officers that he pulled a gun on them.
Police claimed that de los Santos was a drug courier, which his parents denied vehemently.
De los Santos’ death was widely condemned and critics of President Rodrigo renewed their call against extrajudicial killings resulting from his administration’s drug war. RJ CARBONELL